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Upgrade lifts Ann, but bears sell into rally

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Ann popped on an upgrade today, but the bears are stepping in.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking system detected the purchase of almost 5,600 March 25 puts for $0.70 to $0.87. Volume was more than 11 times open interest in both strikes.

Those contracts will make money if ANN falls in the short term but require a drop back below $25 soon because they expire on March 16. The more time that passes , the less closely they will track downside in the women's apparel retailer. (See our Education section)

ANN is up 4.4 percent to $25.64 today after SunTrust upgraded the shares to "buy" from "neutral." At one point it was up almost 8 percent but hit resistance around the same level that has marked the top of its recent range. Unlike the rest of the market, ANN has languished since October.

The next scheduled event that could serve as a potential catalyst is the release of fourth-quarter earnings before the bell on March 9.

Overall option volume is 15 times greater than average in the name so far today, with puts outnumbering calls by 10 to 1.